Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Cole Land Transportation Museum, August 11

We left Gorham and headed towards Bangor, Maine with an overnight stop in Farmington Maine.  We probably could have made it all the way to Bangor in one day, but that would have increased our average travel day mileage...:)  We took Hwy 2 almost all the way across New Hampshire and Maine until it intersected with I 95.  Highway 2 jigs and jogs; changes names frequently; is narrow and curvy in places; plus our GPS's were pretty erratic.

It was raining when  arrived at the Bangor Elk Lodge and took awhile to get 12-14 rigs parked, but we managed to squeeze all of us in  one portion of the parking lot.  The Elks is located right next to the airport..not the most quiet place but the price was right. 

Thursday morning we toured the Cole Land Transportation Museum.  I'm really not a very good museum touring person.  I get brain over load pretty easy, but the Cole Land Transportation Museum is a one of kind and it actually held my attention..for two hours..that and the fact we had a very good docent explaining and telling stories about the different exhibits and Maine.  

A little history, which I had to look up on the internet.  The museum was started by Galen Cole, the son of Allie Cole who started AJ Cole Express in the early 1900's in Maine.  The Cole Express made deliveries in the inclement weather when other companies would not.  The business grew and eventually merged and sold with another shipping company.  Galen's dream was to build a museum to house all things to do with transportation, including difference types of transportation and maintenance.  Google Cole Express and learn about Galen and and the Cole Family.  It's pretty interesting. 

The museum is well organized by category.  It houses a huge collection of of everything from snow plows and fire engines and to snow sleds.

This is a snow roller.  The roller was used to compact the snow so sleds could glide easily over the road. 
One of the many old snow plows. Note those heavy wooden snow shovels.
 One of the first snowmobile or snow cats as we know them today.
 Old sewing machine equipment used to sew leather for harnesses and such.
 Fire engine ally.  This just shows how well organized the museum is.
 There is also a collect of old cars including a Stanley Steamer
The Harley has all original parts including all of the chrome on it.
 Yikes, there was even a hearse collection.  The more money  a town had, the fancier the hearse.
 There were all shapes and forms of sleds
 And even and old camper from 1925
 These old gas pumps are in really good condition.
 There was also a collection of engines.
 This was a very unusual coal truck.  Note the coal sacks on the back.
 Part of the Cole Express fleet.
 I'll let your imagination figure these out.. Actually, written messages were handed to the train engineer as he passed through a depot or station.
 This is a Sally saw.  It's curved to fit the tree truck.  I don't think it was very successful.
This picture is for my two sons who handle chain saws on a daily basis for the Forest Service.  It is one of the original style chain saws and took two men to use it.  It weighed about 45 lbs!

The museum also has some memorabilia on WWII and there is a War Memorial on the grounds.  One other interesting fact about the museum is its construction.  The museum is closed during the winter but stays in the upper 40 degrees  inside due to the heavy stone floor .  Galen hired local high school students to install the floor  which includes over 30,000 stones.  That is a lot of stone!!

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